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With candles and lanterns, kyiv adapts to power cuts after intense Russian bombardment

Irene lights candles, Igor a lantern. It is 6:09 p.m. (4:09 p.m. GMT) in kyiv and, as planned, the electricity has just been cut off in the couple’s building, in a northern neighborhood of the capital of Ukraine.

Since October 10, the Ukrainian electricity system has been affected by multiple Russian attacks on energy infrastructure.

LOOK: Kherson runs out of electricity as it is evacuated, say pro-Russians

To avoid a total blackout, national operator Ukrenergo implements scheduled power outages in the capital and other cities and regions of Ukraine.

On the operator’s website, all you have to do is indicate your address and the cuts scheduled for the week appear, by district rotation.

This picture taken on October 24, 2022 shows a bartender serving a drink by candlelight during a power outage at a bar in central kyiv. (SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP).

In the building of Irene Rozdobudko and Igor Juk there were three power outages on Saturday lasting four hours starting at midnight.

“I like the gloom when it’s quiet, dark and no one bothers me to think,” says Irene, a 60-year-old writer and artist, as she prepares “borsch,” a Ukrainian beet-based soup.


“I can make borsch blind. The (gas) stove always works. I have water (although) the flow rate is low. There is cabbage in the fridge, carrot and other necessary products”, he adds, while pointing out that the heating also works.

To illuminate, the couplea uses decorative candles that they had for a long time and pocket flashlights. In the bathroom there is a camping lamp.

Outside, the neighborhood is plunged into darkness.

On the dark facades of the buildings, dim lights appear in the windows of some apartments.

On the dark sidewalks, the inhabitants use flashlights or mobile phones.

This photograph taken on November 5, 2022 shows Iren Rozdobudko, a 60-year-old writer and university professor, drinking a glass of water by candlelight during a power outage in kyiv.  (SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP).

This photograph taken on November 5, 2022 shows Iren Rozdobudko, a 60-year-old writer and university professor, drinking a glass of water by candlelight during a power outage in kyiv. (SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP).

But the blackouts scheduled are not enough to relieve the electrical system. Saturday, Ukrenergo announced additional restrictions with emergency cuts.

On Sunday in kyiv, even in neighborhoods close to the Ukrainian presidency in the center, which were previously safe, there were momentary power cuts, AFP found.

There were also water cuts earlier in the week in some areas of the capital after new Russian missile attacks.

By candlelight, Irene makes clothes for a doll. “I would never do this if there was light”, says the woman originally from Donetsk (east), in the homonymous region annexed in September by Russia.

The attacks since October in the capital, which had not been hit since June, are a harsh reminder of the war that has been waged for eight months on the eastern and southern fronts of the country, where bombings are daily in many towns.

For Igor, a 70-year-old scientist with a passion for music, the bombings against civilian infrastructure are the mark of “the agony and impotence of the Russian army”, after losing thousands of square kilometers in the northeast in September.

maiden in the dark

“When they see that they cannot fight the (Ukrainian) army, they start fighting with the rear of the army: the civilians,” Explain.

In the center of Kyivwhere it gets dark around 5:00 p.m., Independence Square (Maidan, in Ukrainian), a symbolic place of the 2014 revolution, usually remains in the dark.

Only the headlights of the vehicles illuminate the streets of the neighborhoods where there is no electricity. Restaurants are also using candles.

On the night from Thursday to Friday, about 4.5 million people in Kyiv and 10 regions of the country are temporarily without electricity, said Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenski, who denounced an “energy terror.”

As winter approaches, the mayor of KyivVitali Klitschko, says he fears the worst scenario in case of new attacks on energy facilities: “one in which there will be no electricity, no water and no heating.”

The person in charge announced the preparation of “more than a thousand heating points” just in case. “We have bought electric generators, stored water and everything necessary so that these heating points can accommodate people,” he declared.

With his headlamp, Igor puts things into perspective: “It will probably be a bit more difficult in winter, or maybe a lot more. But now we are not in the worst situation.

In a corner of the apartment, Irene holds an emotional letter from her refugee grandchildren in Marseille, France. “Hello grandfather and grandmother, I wanted to know if life is going well in Ukraine. And if not, come with us to France. We love them very much and we support them.”

Source: Elcomercio

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